Brussels, October 27 (TASR-correspondent) – Slovakia will deploy ten military police officers to support the EUNAVFOR MED naval operation, said Slovak Defence Minister Peter Gajdos at a two-day session of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on Thursday.
Gajdos noted that he and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also spoke about the importance of closer cooperation between the EU and NATO at an informal meeting of EU defence ministers in Bratislava on September 27.
NATO and the EU adopted a joint declaration on mutual cooperation at the NATO summit in Warsaw on July 8-9. Gajdos reiterated the need to continue such cooperation in the future as well.
“Apart from discussing the EU Global Strategy, we also spoke about EU-NATO cooperation in the area of security and defence during negotiations between EU defence ministers in Bratislava. We also organised a seminar dedicated to EU-NATO cooperation and to measures tackling hybrid threats in Brussels this week under the auspices of Slovakia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU,” stressed Gajdos.
Diplomatic sources close to NATO revealed that there’s greater willingness to cooperate on NATO’s part than on that of the EU. Willingness to support EUNAVFOR MED in Libyan coastal waters is a step forward in these terms. The naval operation is directed at putting a halt to the influx of migrants from North Africa and to the smuggling of weapons to Libya, and it should also help with training the Libyan coast guard. This request was formulated by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
Gajdos said that the deployment of ten officers will allow them to acquire new abilities that could be used in the future.
Stoltenberg and Mogherini on Thursday morning confirmed that NATO-EU cooperation will continue with an emphasis on eliminating duplication when setting up military capacities for the purposes of NATO and the EU.